We set out to make this baked version from Chocolate and Zucchini. Since we had no cottage cheese, we ended up making this steamed, dhokla-esque version. It was really soft and flavourful. We will be making this again with different veggies.

This dish will turn out well with fine semolina (sooji/rava) as well. We prefer cornmeal, ‘cos we get the wholegrain variety. Semolina is a refined product. So is regular cornmeal. Wholegrain cornmeal is available in several brands. The one in our grocery store is Hodgson Mill. An excellent online brand is King Arthur Flour.

We also think cornmeal has a better flavour than semolina.

Whole Grains: The Inside Story


We served ours as a ‘sandwich’ with tomato-date chutney and cucumbers.

1.25 cups yellow cornmeal (fine semolina/sooji works too)
2 cups buttermilk (or 1.5 cups plain yogurt – we use low-fat – and 1/2 cup water)
1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 cups very finely chopped broccoli florets
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1.25 tsps Eno fruit salt (or an equal amount of regular Alka Setlzer tablet powdered)

For Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
6-8 torn curry leaves
a pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsps hot water

cilantro leaves for garnish

Toast the cornmeal until it starts giving off a good aroma. We usually toast it on a baking sheet on parchment at 375 F for 9-10 minutes when we bring it home from the store. We make the oven do double duty when it’s preheating for bread.

Add the buttermilk/yogurt, salt, green chilli ginger paste and oil. Let it soak for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli florets in a microwave safe dish, put water, and rinse. Make sure they are chopped very fine. Cover the damp florets with a plate, and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. We need them only half-cooked.

Put the veggies in the cornmeal mixture.

Put a large vessel or pressure cooker with about 3 cups water on the stovetop to heat. Grease a round pan or pressure cooker insert vessel, (we like a round of parchment at the bottom as additional insurance).

Add the Eno and the lime juice to the batter. It will rise and get all foamy. Put into the vessel, and steam. Do not use the weight if using a pressure cooker.

Keep it for 22-24 minutes on medium heat after closing the lid. Turn off the flame, let it rest for 2 minutes, and test with a toothpick. Run a knife around the edges and invert the pan on to a plate. Peel off the parchment.

For Seasoning:
Heat remaining oil, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds pop, turn off the flame.

Mix the HOT water, sugar and remaining lime juice until the sugar dissolves. Pour into the seasoning.

Pour it over the cake.

Garnish with coriander leaves, cut into wedges and serve hot.

Steamed Broccoli-Cornmeal Cake goes to the lovely Suganya @ Tasty Palettes for her Healthy Eats event, which is part of Weekend Breakfast Blogging.

- Bee and Jai

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  1. Happy Cook says:

    It looks so beautiful. Never had anything like this. Onlt time i used cornmeal was when i made a sweet cake.

  2. Núria says:

    How could anyone watch this and not try it???? What a great idea to copy the cakes shape and make it veggie’s!!!

    I’m affraid I tagged you, sorry about that ;)

  3. Núria says:

    How stupid!!!! I forgot to add the link…. :embarrass

    Here it is

  4. Asha says:

    So it’s Dhokla then but with cornmeal. I love savory Cornbread we make here with Jalapenos. Date stuffing is so yummy, beautiful looking dish. Great entry!:)

    Enjoy your weekend, see you next week.

  5. kalva says:

    wow.., cornmeal dhokla.. looks so yumm…!

  6. yeah this is something my and dad would love to fight over! we’re corn bread/meal junkies… well for the most part.

    it looks so pretty.

  7. sra says:

    How very different from the original and how very bright! :yes: And the cornmeal around the cake in the second pic looks like glitter!

  8. Anjali says:

    Beautiful! B & J you are going to make me work hard this weekend. I’ll grind corn to get my own cornmeal. Did someone say to Anita something about Moongre. Anita would like to grind cornmeal too after seeing your pix? :yes:

  9. Vaishali says:

    What a unique combination of flavors and ingredients! And the pictures are beautiful.

  10. Suganya says:

    For a moment I thought it was a terrine. And it almost is, with the chutney. I love cornmeal in any form. Thanks for the entry, Bee & Jai.

  11. indosungod says:

    Bee, cornmeal cake looks, I have forgotten to work and dreaming and my tummy is starting to growl, though it is full from the most recent lunch ;)

  12. Minti says:

    An inspired take on dhokla like recipes. I found the link to the whole grain article informative.

  13. Meeta says:

    Lovely. I was just looking at a recipe for making dhoklas but this beats everything. I have never made dhoklas before and probably do not have the right equipment for it so I am not sure if I’ll get around to it anytime soon. But I really like this.

  14. Latha says:

    Looks delicious – love the idea of a dhokla sandwich! Unique entry!

  15. richa says:

    ur dhokla/handva esque cake looks so bright & appetising :D
    btw, why do u need to pre cook the broccoli :nono:

    you don’t need to, but at the same time, you don’t want it to release too much liquid while steaming with the cornmeal. – b.

  16. musy says:

    Beautiful recipe, Bee and Jai! It does remind me of dhokla, especially the color and the tempering! Lovely one :) .

  17. aa says:

    This is lovely! Must try it sometime soon — wholegrain corn is also available in the bulk bins at your local co-op/whole foods/wild oats type stores — the bulk stuff in my experience tends to taste fresher and nicer.

  18. Linda says:

    Looks beautiful with the cornmeal spilling out in front :)

  19. Madhuli says:

    Haven’t ever seen anything so good…looks very tempting..

  20. Namratha says:

    Very unique dish, lovely pics Bee.

  21. Anita says:

    The first pic is so vibrant.

  22. raaga says:

    I have whole grain corn meal too… just corn pounded :-) And I have broccoli… should try this fairly soon. Looks yummy

  23. Deepa says:

    Excellent cornmeal cake !!!That pic just wants me to have it !!!

  24. Nags says:

    i have been thinking of making dhokla forever now. its just that i don’t have a steamer. not yet. this looks like an interesting variation but more work :D

  25. Priya says:

    hi…looks so yummy..lovely recipe….if only there would have been a lip smacking emoticon … :)

  26. Zlamushka says:

    what a fab cake! I see lot of people mentioning Eno alka salt whatever. What is it? I figured a some kind of rising agent? Would it work with baking soda or baking powder?

    you can use 3/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp citric acid (or 1/2 tsp lime juice) instead. – b.

  27. enjay says:

    The best of two worlds. This goes into the must-try folder.

    Love the new CLICK gallery!

  28. Anonymous says:

    yum ! I just now had my sunday morning brekkie … but i am again hungry after seeing this !

  29. Siri says:

    This is THE brightest breakfast I can ever have! :yes:

    Siri :love:

  30. What an interesting take on a cake! I love broccoli and think it would taste great with either cornmeal or semolina (which I never thought of as refined…need to look into this!). Thanks for the idea!

  31. Aparna says:

    This is interesting. I make dhokla often using this recipe but cornmeal is a good idea.

  32. Uma says:

    wow, looks so yummy! Love the pic. :)

  33. Pooja V says:

    wow…loved the bright, vibrant color of the cake. A wholesome snack .yum !

  34. oh, this ones a beauty!!!! thanx sooooooooooooooooo much for the lovely and healthy recipe….

  35. sagari says:

    cornmeal cake looks beautifullll

  36. Miri says:

    What a lovely piece of sunshine!

  37. Jyothsna says:

    Nice touch with cornmeal. You can microwave the dhokla, it should take 4-5 minutes.

  38. Archana says:

    Bee, is corn meal same as polenta? I have polenta at home- found it in india, can I try this recipe with polenta? I like this dohkla-esh ver

    polenta is typically referred to a dish made from corn meal – so yeah it is the same. however several grinds are available. for this recipe a bit coarse would work best – not finely ground. it should work. -j

  39. Laavanya says:

    This looks fabulous.. what a great idea! I sandwich dhoklas too with some green chutney :)

  40. [...] Jugalbandi’s Broccoli-Corn Dhokla Anna Parabrahma’s healthy Corn Bhel Evolving Tastes’ Polenta Kheer A Mingling of Tastes with Pear Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake The Singing Chef’s colourful Cornmeal Vegetable Salad [...]

  41. Garam Masala says:

    Wow… This looks great. And sneaking broccolis into dhokla is ingenious. Bookmark + mental note to try this out.

  42. Johanna says:

    wow – broccoli and cornmeal sounds such a great combination – I tried a broccoli upside down cake about a year ago which wasn’t that great but I think this looks a better way to have broccoli in a ‘cake’

  43. vatsala says:

    What a innovative dish! Similar to Dokla but taste willl definately be different.
    There is an event announcement at my place.

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